What Are Some Statistics about Child Sexual Exploitation?

What exactly is child sexual exploitation? According to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, “When a child or young person is exploited they’re given things, like gifts, drugs, money, status and affection, in exchange for performing sexual activities.”1 Often, kids being exploited are misled into thinking they are in a loving and trusting relationship.

Here are a few quick facts:

  • “On any given day in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery, 4.8 million of them in ‘forced sexual exploitation.’ Over one million of those in ‘forced sexual exploitation’ are children.”2
  • More than 26,500 runaways were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020. One in six were likely victims of child sex trafficking.3
  • Sex trafficking generates a lot of money. One in five trafficking victims may be sexually exploited, but those equate to two-thirds of global trafficking profits.4
  • According to Human Rights First, OSCE studies have shown that sexual exploitation can yield a return on investment ranging from 100 percent to 1,000 percent, while an enslaved laborer in less profitable markets—such as agricultural work—can generate something over 50 percent profit.5
  • Income, food, housing and health care inequalities have increased in impoverished parts of the world, and these “drivers of enslavement increase the risk of sexual and labor exploitation, and are being used by criminal groups to scale-up modern day slavery activities,” warns the British medical journal The Lancet.6

GFA World is on the front lines of helping children stay out of sexual slavery. When kids are involved in programs where they have compassionate adults looking out for them, teaching them and helping their families, they are less likely to be trafficked. GFA World provides resources and skills training to help families break out of the cycle of poverty so they can keep their children safely in school. While GFA World helps families with their physical needs, they also offer hope, doing all these things through Christ’s love.

Learn more about child exploitation

1 “Child Sexual Exploitation.” NSPCC. . Accessed February 1, 2022. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/child-sexual-exploitation/#what.
2 “Statistics on Trafficking and Exploitation” ECPAT USA. February 1, 2022. https://www.ecpatusa.org/statistics.
3 “Our Impact.” National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Accessed February 1, 2022. https://www.missingkids.org/content/ncmec/en/ourwork/impact.html.
4Human Trafficking by The Numbers.” Human Rights First. January 7, 2017. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/human-trafficking-numbers.
5Human Trafficking by The Numbers.” Human Rights First. January 7, 2017. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/resource/human-trafficking-numbers.
6 Armitage, Richard and Nellum, Laura B. “COVID 19: Compounding the health-related harms of human trafficking.” The Lancet. June 5, 2020. https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/eclinm/PIIS2589-5370(20)30153-X.pdf